Plan approved to ease scramble for Sunderland school places

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COUNCILLORS have agreed measures to tackle an expected scramble for primary school places.

Last year, primaries saw a rise in the number of reception children, and numbers are expected to increase again this September and in 2014.

A report to the members of Sunderland City Council’s cabinet meeting said: “In line with regional and national trends, Sunderland is observing an increase in its birth rate after a sustained period of decline.”

Last month, the Government announced that Sunderland would be getting a grant of £1.6million to fund places in areas which need them most during the next two years.

The cabinet report said officers had identified projected “hot spot” areas where over subscription was likely in 2014, in Washington, Hetton, the west of Sunderland and faith schools.

It said the authority was in talks with schools about increasing numbers.

A new School Admissions Code comes into force this September.

Changes include giving adopted children previously in care the same priority as looked-after children, and introducing a national offer day.

At a meeting, cabinet members agreed the admissions scheme for 2014 should mirror 2013.